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Stepping Out with the Stars to benefit Turning Point

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 16, 2020

 Turning Point, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Stepping Out with the Stars, April 24 in partnership with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Sterling Heights to benefit survivors of domestic abuse.

Turning Point, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Stepping Out with the Stars, April 24 in partnership with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Sterling Heights to benefit survivors of domestic abuse.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Turning Point, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Stepping Out with the Stars, April 24 in partnership with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Sterling Heights to benefit survivors of domestic abuse.

Stepping Out with the Stars is a judged dance competition with local celebrities who are paired with professional dancers to compete for a prize. Each couple will perform a unique routine and be judged by dancers from prior events.

Sharman Davenport, Turning Point’s CEO, said that with the event in its fifth year, it has grown to become a signature event and occurs during April, which is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month.

“People come out to raise money for a good cause. This is the fifth year for the event and the 40th year for Turning Point. So that makes this an even bigger celebration,” she said.

A preview party for the event, introducing the dancers for the 2020 Stepping Out with the Stars, at press time was scheduled to be held at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Sterling Heights, located at 35836 Van Dyke Ave., from 8 to 10 p.m. March 27. Doors will open at 7:30, followed by music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres and a 50-50 raffle.

Some auction items at the event will include a formal ball gown, a chef who will cook for up to four people in their home, a spice basket and more.

Group dance lessons will be offered to those interested. A charge of $15 per person may be paid in advance or at the door, with proceeds going to Turning Point.

During the event, attendees will get a sneak preview of the various dance routines, as well as have an opportunity to see surprise performances and meet the celebrity dancers and judges.

Some of the celebrity dancers who will be performing are Christina Muir, a funeral director at Roth-Muir Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center; Scott Bala, battalion chief for the Roseville Fire Department; Rosalina Otadonna, the owner of two salons in Macomb County; Erin Vermeulen, of Mount Clemens; Mark Stiers, of DTE Energy; Keith Lesperance, who has been in the printing and communications field for over 40 years; and for the first time a mother and son team will be dancing, Jeff and Rosemarie Baldwin.

Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Sterling Heights donates 20 lessons for dancers to work on their routines.

Davenport said that every year they have a different group of dancers and even the instructors might be different.

The annual Stepping Out with the Stars night will begin when the doors open at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, at the Palazzo Grande Banquet & Event Center in Shelby Township.

“Not only is this an entertainment-filled evening with dinner, dancing and premium bar, but it’s another way to support Turning Point in its mission to eradicate domestic and sexual violence. Proceeds fund critical programs like our 24-hour hotline, prevention and awareness programs for youth and community, emergency shelter, legal assistance, and much more,” said Davenport.

She said the event is very “high energy.”

The audience will get to vote for a couple for the People’s Choice Award.

Sharon O’Brien, who has been a co-chair on the Stepping Out with the Stars committee for two years and a committee member for four years as a member of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, said the event is growing.

“Last year our event raised around $70,000 for Turning Point, and it’s the biggest money-raiser. They have lots of events to raise awareness, and so far we have brought in the biggest (amount). We have people on our committee who have experienced abuse, and we try our best to pay it forward,” said O’Brien.

Advance ticket purchase is required. Admission costs $100 per person or $900 for a table of 10.

This year, they are hoping to raise $100,000 to be able to provide assistance to those who have experienced domestic abuse.

Annually, Turning Point answers 10,000 crisis calls, provides support services to an estimated 3,000 individuals, and provides prevention education to 10,000 youth. Many of Turning Point’s programs and staff members have received state and national recognition.

The Palazzo Grande Banquet & Event Center is located at 54660 Van Dyke Ave.

For tickets or more information, call (586) 977-2121 or visit www.turningpointmacomb.org.

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